WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Andersen mum on reports McEvoy is starting
MADISON - University of Wisconsin head football coach Gary Andersen will not confirm a media report that redshirt junior Tanner McEvoy will start at quarterback against LSU on Saturday night.
On Madison's WIBA Radio this morning, Andersen said both McEvoy and last year's starter Joel Stave will both see action this season. Last Friday, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said it had three sources confirming that McEvoy -- a safety last year -- would start at his natural quarterback spot. Andersen called it "hearsay," and said we'll all know who starts when the offense trots onto the field Saturday in Houston.
Wisconsin has three players on a watch list for Senior Bowl -- two Badgers and a receiver from Division III national champion UW-Whitewater. Warhawks' senior Jake Kumerow joins Wisconsin tight end Sam Arneson and offensive tackle Rob Havenstein as possible candidates for the Senior Bowl on January 24th in Mobile, Alabama. Kumerow is the only Division III player to get on the watch list. Playing in the Senior Bowl game is only part of the benefit for those who get invited. They also get auditions from NFL team officials and scouts. Green Bay Packers' general manager Ted Thompson normally attends the Senior Bowl every year, along with several members of his staff.
The University of Wisconsin football team has moved into game-mode, as it gets ready to play LSU on Saturday night in Houston. Three LSU freshmen are expected to get at least some playing time against the Badgers -- quarterback Brandon Harris, running back Leonard Fournette, and receiver Malachi Dupre. The 6-1 Fournette was listed by many as the nation's top recruit for this fall. He ran for 7,619 yards and 88 touchdowns at Saint Augustine high school in New Orleans. Dupre was among the top receivers among the nation's freshmen. He also played his high school ball in New Orleans, where he caught 34 passes for 607 yards and six touchdowns in his senior year. Quarterback Harris threw for 3,172 yards as a high school senior, with 34 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Kyle Lohse will make his first start in 12 days for the Milwaukee Brewers tonight, when they open a three-game series at San Diego. The veteran left-hander aggravated a sore ankle on August 13th, when he gave up four runs in three innings against the Cubs in Chicago. Lohse is 0-4 in his last four starts with a 6.63 ERA in that stretch. Lohse threw a bullpen session on Friday, and declared himself ready to go. He's 11-7 on the year, with an ERA of just under three-and-a-half. Left-hander Eric Stults will go for San Diego tonight. He's 6-13 this season with a 4.53 ERA -- but he's been on a tear lately, winning three straight decisions with a combined ERA of below two in those outings. The Padres are third in the National League West Division at 60-69. The Brewers lead the Central at 72-58, a game-and-a-half up on second-place Saint Louis -- which plays at third-place Pittsburgh tonight. The Pirates are five games back.
Dominating at home is normally vital for a Major League pennant contender -- but it's not happening that way for the Milwaukee Brewers this year. The Crew is just 36-31 at Miller Park after edging the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 yesterday. Tonight, the National League Central Division leaders open a three-game series at San Diego -- and that gives the Brewers a chance to bolster their 36-27 road record. Only the LA Dodgers have a better road mark than Milwaukee in the National League. Manager Ron Roenicke says he has no idea why his Brewers are playing better on the road than at home. Milwaukee is averaging 4.4 runs per game away from Miller Park -- not much more than their four-point-two home average. The Brewers have pitched better at home, despite the fact that Miller Park is a hitter's place. The Crew has a 3.50 ERA at home, and 3.08 on the road.
Brewers' catcher Jonathan Lucroy belted another double yesterday, giving him 43 for the season. That's nine away from Lyle Overbay's team record of 52. It's also four away from the Major League record for total doubles in a season by a player who's primarily a catcher. Pudge Rodriguez of Texas had 47 total doubles in 1996, including 45 in games he was catching. Lucroy has 36 doubles in games as a catcher, and seven others while he was at first base or a DH. All told, Lucroy still has a chance of becoming the first primary catcher to lead the National League in doubles since 1900.
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are still fighting for a playoff spot in the Class-"A" Midwest League. The regular season ends a week from tonight, and the Rattlers have a two-game lead over both Peoria and Quad Cities for the final post-season slot in the Western Division. First-half champion Kane County has a two-game lead over Cedar Rapids with eight games left in the second half. That means the third place team in the West has a shot, and Wisconsin is nine back -- leading a group of four other teams which are within five games of the Rattlers. Tonight, Wisconsin hosts the Beloit Snappers, who remain last in the West and are playing out the string. Beloit edged the Rattlers 4-2 yesterday near Appleton.
Letroy Guion practiced with the Green Bay Packers for the first time today. He's been out with a hamstring suffered before Training Camp while working out. The veteran nose tackle is returning just days after nose tackle B-J Raji went out for the year with a torn biceps suffered in Friday night's Packer exhibition win over Oakland. The Packers host Kansas City on Thursday night in their exhibition finale.
Green Bay Preble is the Division I leader in a new boys' state high school soccer poll from the coaches' association. Preble was the runner-up in the state's top division a year ago. Milwaukee Marquette is second in the new poll, followed by Neenah. Last year's Division I champ, Muskego, was an honorable mention in the new poll. Defending Division 2 champion Oregon is the leader in its poll, followed by Cedarburg and Whitefish Bay. Green Bay Notre Dame is the Division 3 leader. Notre Dame was last year's state runner-up. Appleton Xavier is second, followed by Waukesha Catholic Memorial. Returning champion Ashland is fourth. In Division 4, Racine Prairie leads the way -- followed by Sturgeon Bay, Barron, and Stevens Point Pacelli. Prairie was last year's state runner-up to the Milwaukee University School.